David Ford said: “It would be a total disgrace for MLAs to receive this massive pay increase at this time. It totally flies in the face of the Executive’s supposed drive to ensure efficiencies and the tightening of belts.
“If the Executive were on performance-related pay, they would only be getting the minimum wage.
“This Executive needs to start delivering for local people instead of thinking about pay rises. They have not even proved that they can make the improvements that people in Northern Ireland are crying out for. I believe that most MLAs work hard, but the question is whether they have the skills they are assumed to have.
“Only when the Executive starts delivering can they start thinking about pay rises. At most, all that the Assembly should be able to consider is an inflationary rise, to stay in line with the increased in the cost of living, the same as those working in other jobs have.
“We will oppose this despicable 16% pay rise. It would be totally unjustified at the moment and it would be a kick in the teeth for local people struggling to make ends meet.”